Monday, December 1, 2008

Peanuts for the blue jays

Had a chance to do some birding over the long holiday. The blue jays have a special table in the garden. Peanuts are their favorite but they eat suet, cat kibble and sunflower seed too. The jays always visit in a group of three. I can hear their calls from far away as they approach the garden.


Grab a peanut and hurry away to hide it. Then come back for more.


They always try to stuff more than one peanut in their mouth. Eventually they settle for one at a time.


They like the shelled peanuts but not as well as the ones in the shell.

Sly sneaks in for some cat kibble while the jays are off hiding their loot.



48 comments:

Darla said...

Great shots! Didn't know Bluejays ate peanuts! Will give that a try.

Sweet Repose said...

Didn't get as much as you guys, maybe only 2 inches, but it froze in the middle of the night making roads slick, salt trucks were out early this AM...and the wind...my truck was parked under the big ol Chinese Elm that was struck by lighting 2 years ago and is still dropping limbs, so I had a restless night. The wind storms lately I think have us all jumpy and gittery.

Be safe and warm...

sharon

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Great close-up shots of your Bluejay. If I put out peanuts on a platform feeder, I believe the squirrels would steal from the birds.

I rarely see Bluejays here. We have a few bossy Cardinals that are really beautiful.

Cameron

flydragon said...

Blues sure do like their peanuts don't they? I'm afraid I'm not a fan of your starling though. One or two would be okay, but not the dozens and dozens that flock together. You can keep all those:)

Dog_geek said...

Nice pictures! We have to put peanuts out for the bluejays - otherwise they pull everything out of all the other feeders, sifting through for the good stuff and throwing the rest of it all over the ground.

perennialgardener said...

Great shots today Marnie! I will have to pickup some peanuts for the Bluejays next time I'm out. They always pick the shelled peanuts out of my wild birdseed mix. ;)

tina said...

Great pics! Even that starling (I think). I just bought shelled corn for my jays, I hope they like it. But like you said, the birds seem to love the dog and cat food more than any seeds. Maybe the oil and protein. Have a great day!

Rose said...

I love the bluejays--such a bright blue streaking through the trees. Great photos!

I hope you're not getting too much snow today. My winter wonderland of yesterday has turned into a winter nightmare today with icy roads and all.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, if you have Jays in your neighborhood, they will come for peanuts;)

Hey Sharon, the winds are fierce! I fear a limb bringing down a power line and going without heat for hours. Of course 6" of snow + 30 mph wind = 3-foot snow drifts across the road which aren't much fun.

Cameron, my Blue Jay table has a squirrel baffle so they can't steal all the peanuts;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Flydragon, no I'm not their biggest fans either. They will mob the feeders and drive everything else away. The thing I most resent about starlings is that they kill our nesting native birds.

Hi Dog Geek, they seldom touch the other feeders. They love their table.

Perennial Gardner, they may decide to take both the shelled and the bird mix ones;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Tina, I've found many birds eat cracked corn including jays and cardinals. Sometimes I throw it around but always get too many English sparrows.

Hi Rose, the roads were terrible here this morning. Yesterday when the snow began the TV news reported the high prices of road salt and the county's plan to conserve it. Peachy!!!!

Marnie

BeadedTail said...

Great photos! We have different looking blue jays here in the Pacific Northwest but they love peanuts too. We put out peanuts all year for the jays to come and take away. They are fun to watch!

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, what wonderful shots of the birds. I didn't know about the peanuts and will have to try and attract the jays to come within camera range. Ours stay in the trees mostly, our feeders will only let the smaller birds feed, it helps keep the squireels out too. I love the sound the jays make, it reminds me of a flute.
Frances

beckie said...

Marnie, your photos are beautiful. I think blue jays get a bad rap-I always love seeing their bright blue color. They can be kind of piggy and messy though. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

joey said...

Happy Birding, Marnie ... great shots! (Never thought of peanuts in shells!)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Beaded tail, you must have the scrub jays. We don't see them on this side of the Mississippi.

Hi Frances, put them on a table or something right outside the window. For taking bird photos, your house is the best 'blind'.

Hi Beckie, they are little pigs. They would carry away 10-pounds of peanuts if you put that much out at a time.

Hi Joey, funny how they seem to be born knowing they love peanuts. Even if they have never seen them before;)

Marnie

Gail said...

Marnie, I love the Jays...they are raucous, colorful and they are the best early warning system for the presence of predators! As you say they are little piggies at the feeder!

Gail

Connie said...

Those are wonderful shots of the Blue Jays, a very photogenic bird. We only have Stellar Jays here... they are handsome, but noisy.

Kathleen said...

Oh Marnie. How did you get these photos? The blue jays and I are still "playing" our game and I haven't gotten a good photo yet! Yours are great. I agree you always know when they're in the garden.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Gail, they are warning sirens indeed. Hawks, cats, they see everything and loudly tell the whole world about it;)

Hi Connie, these Blue Jays are noisy too. I like it, when I hear them I know to go to a window and I will see them selecting their peanuts.

Kathleen, put the peanuts close to a window. If you stand inside the house, you can get some wonderful shots right thru the window glass. I keep my windows spotless, LOL, only to get good pictures.

Marnie

Balisha said...

Beautiful shots, Marnie. I don't get blue jays here very often. The houses on thickly wooded lots get them more than we do.

TC said...

Beautiful birds. But birding hasn't been an interest for me. Why? I can't really say.

sweet bay said...

Great shots! Blue Jays are such handsome birds. Oddly, we don't have blue jays on our farm -- perhaps they don't compete well with the crows.

rambling woods said...

I learned just to put enough peanuts in the feeder for one day or the jays comes screaming in and carry them all off..Love them though..

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Balisha, mine must live in the willows by the creek because that's the direction they always come from.

Hey TC, not everybody enjoys birding.

Hi SweatBay, that could be true. We have crows scavaging in the corn fields but they never come around the house or the feeders.

Rambling Woods, I do the same thing. A handful of peanuts at a time;)

Marnie

Cordwood Cabin said...

Blue Jays are so clever! I love putting out food for the birds ... here, they fill the Dogwood trees and eat the red berries until the trees are bare. It's beautiful to see, so I should really take a picture sometime.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cordwood, that would make a beautiful picture. I agree, the jays seem very clever and so pretty.
Marnie

Nan and =^..^= said...

Hi Marnie,
Enjoyed seeing your photos of the bluejays with their peanuts...very beautiful photos...and the starling, too. I love the birds, also and I find all of nature so endearing. Many of my photos I use as references for my art. We have been feeding a young red squirrel who has just discovered the feeder as well as the birds. Saw a nuthatch yesterday but wasn't quick enough to capture it with my camera.
Seen some interesting birds in the ocean. Will be posting them soon.
best wishes,
Nan

Roses and Lilacs said...

I get a lot of enjoyment from watching the birds on the mornings I'm at home. How sterile the garden would seem if it wasn't full of birds and things.

My opinion of squirrels... Well, I have 6 huge walnut trees behind the house and various other squirrel friendly plantings. I wish they would leave the bird feeders alone;) The little stinkers want it all, all the walnuts, all the peanuts and all the birdseed.

Lythrum said...

Beautiful pictures. :) I was actually grateful for the squirrels visiting my bird feeder because the birds never bothered.

Patsi said...

Isn't it fun watching birds?
Great pictures !
Funny, they don't like the shelled peanuts...too much work I guess.
Winter is a great time for enjoying our backyard birds. :)

walk2write said...

Those jays remind me of Hubby. He prefers the nuts in the shell too. Makes a mess, but he wouldn't have it any other way. Think I should make him go outside? ;>}

Blossom said...

These must be so much fun to watch! We don't have blue jays here, but we do have stellar's jays. They are such intelligent birds.

Marites said...

i love your bird pictures and to see them in action like eating peanuts are really cool. Didn't even they eat peanuts at all LOL!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
You have a real talent for capturing bird shots! Lovely shots, even though I'm no fan of either bird, though the Jays are pretty, I just don't like their bullying ways with other birds. But they are in the Crow family, so I guess that should be expected. We don't see too many Jays in our yard, but maybe the cardinals we have scare them away?

Sorry to hear you got so much snow! We got 4" on Sunday and 3-5 more on the way (supposedly) tomorrow. If it keeps up this pace, we'll be weary of it way too soon!

Carla said...

These are wonderful photos! I get a lot of Blue Jays...and Crows in my yard. I love them! And the Jays are my favorite birds.

Q said...

Dear Marnie,
So nice to see your Blue Jays. I think they are pretty birds. Mine also enjoy the peanuts in or out of the shell. I have noticed since I now have 6 Jays coming to the feeders I do not see any Mockingbirds. I wonder if so many Jays scared the Mockers away.
I miss the Mockingbirds. Surely there is room for both!
Stay warm and be careful on the snow. It can be slippery.
Sherry

The Birdlady said...

Very nice - the big guys like some goodies too, don't they?

Gail said...

Marnie,

Hi again...not sure if you know Sherri's work but I love her books
http://www.sherriwarnerhunter.com/index.htm She makes wonderful structures and offers workshops on armature creation for birdbaths etc. I have taken several classes from her.

I do hope you're keeping warm! You site has fantatic photos and links!

Gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Lythrum, I wonder why the birds don't come. Lucky squirrels!

Hi Patsi, it is a fun way to 'waste' time. I like to feel close to nature.

Hi Walk2Write, LOL, reminds me of a place I worked while going to school. Everybody threw peanut shells on the floor.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Blossom, I've never seen a Stellar Jay except in photos.

Hey Marites, seems like every bird species has a favorite food.

Hi IVG, my Jays don't bother the other birds. They can't use the small feeders and they don't want the safflower I put out for the cardinals.

Hi Carla, Jays are one of my favorites too. I don't get crows, they don't seem to like seeds I feed the other birds--or the small feeders.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Q, when I lived in the south, the mockingbirds would run the blue jays off. I've never seen it work in the reverse.

Hi Helen, I think they come to my feeders from some distance. If not for the peanuts, I wouldn't see them often.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gail, what an interesting site. I wish I lived in an area that has workshops like those.

I read about the process and materials he uses. Sounds perfect, no toxic and light weight. Thanks for the website.
Marnie

Sue said...

Great pics of the blue jays!

flowergardengirl said...

What fun pictures as well as beautiful and crisp.

Dawn said...

Gosh! We have about 12 jays, seem to be the only bird that loves to stay here.
We bought a 50 lb bag of peanuts this summer, just so they wouldn't wipe out the other feeders. Yep, takes them awhile to decide on what nut. Most of ours were stuffed in the crook of branches for winter storage!

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful pictures.

The Garden Faerie said...

I love watching all the birds (and squirrels!) at my feeders. I love watching the nuthatch walk down the tree, and I love the woodpeckers (I've seen downy and red-bellied) who love the suet cakes... and juncos are so sweet as are all the other "usual suspects." I do have water out of birds and squirrels, in a plastic saucer with a heater, on my deck. The water level drops a lot each day and sometimes the water looks dirty. I thought raccoons may be washing themselves overnight (and they may be!) but yesterday I saw a female mallard sitting in there, having a bath. She's about as big as the whole saucer... I guess ducks like sitting in water and the nearby creek is already frozen. Wish I'd gotten a photo. She looked very happy. (Yes, I do wash the saucer and change the water often!)
~ Monica